Tuttosport: Bennacer’s absence could see Milan’s midfield depth evaporate

By Oliver Fisher -

AC Milan could evaluate the idea of making an investment for the midfield because the department will likely be in numerical difficulty from next month, a report claims.

This morning’s edition of Tuttosport (via PianetaMilan) writes that Stefano Pioli risks finding himself with few options in midfield. Tommaso Pobega could undergo surgery on a tendon issue and therefore return at the end of the season, Rade Krunić is on the verge of being sold to Fenerbahçe and Yacine Adli – like the Bosnian – has slipped to the bottom of the hierarchy.

Therefore, only Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Tijjani Reijnders and Yunus Musah remain at Pioli’s disposal and the latter is expected to miss the next game due to a muscle injury. Ismael Bennacer has returned after seven months out, but he will soon depart too.

The news from yesterday is that the Algeria head coach has named him in the preliminary squad for the African Cup of Nations which will be held in Ivory Coast for a month from 13 January to 11 February 2024, a tournament in which Adli will not participate because he is not documentation has been completed.

For the start of the new year, therefore, Pioli risks finding himself with three starters and only two reserves. Milan have always hoped that Algeria would not call up Bennacer due to the long absence but he cares a lot about the competition, like all African players.

Algeria will play against Angola (15 January 2024), Burkina Faso (20 January) and Mauritania (23 January). In the event of reaching the final on 11 February 2024, which they are tipped to do given their strength, Bennacer would then have only four days to prepare for Milan-Rennes in the first leg of the Europa League play-off round.

At a minimum, Bennacer will miss four games: Empoli, Roma and Udinese in Serie A and then the Coppa Italia game against Cagliari. Pioli risks having little depth in the midfield therefore, and CEO Giorgio Furlani seemed to rule out a signing in that area.

Milan could promote Kevin Zeroli from the Primavera and go for Samuele Ricci from Torino – a difficult target to sign in January.

Tags AC Milan Ismaël Bennacer Rade Krunic Samuele Ricci


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